OF NATURAL HISTORY (2004)

of-natural-history

Artist: Sleepytime Gorilla Museum
Label: Web of Mimicry
Producer: Dan Rathbun, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum
Cover art: Per Frykdahl
Length: 71:52

THE ITALIAN FUTURIST movement embraced the often-destructive march of progress, while the Unabomber railed against it with some homespun destruction of his own. On their second album, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum find common ground between these ‘two contradictory pillars of 20th C. Anti-Humanism’ to espouse their own theories on the future of humanity.

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SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

Keep your ears open to the unexpected present, the unpredictable future. To new musicians – when they say, ‘It’s all been done before’, tell them they haven’t heard what you’re going to do next weekend.

Nils Frykdahl, The Prog Rock Website, 2002

Formed: 1999, Oakland, California, USA

Featured album: Of Natural History (2004)

SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM’s first performance ‘was done for the benefit of a single banana-slug in an abandoned Newberry’s department store in downtown Oakland.’ At least that’s what the liner notes to their first album claim. As far as origin stories go, it’s ridiculous and, obviously, utter bullshit. But playful mystification and highly detailed nonsense are what this band is all about.

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MEDÚLLA (2004)

medulla

Artist: Björk

Label: One Little Indian
Producer: Björk, Mark Bell
Cover art: M/M Paris (design), Inez and Vinoodh (photography)
Length: 45:40

‘DID OUR LANGUAGE commence with singing?’ Charles Darwin asked in his collected notebooks from 1836-1841. ‘Is this the origin of our pleasure in music?’ While cognitive psychologists, neurologists, anthropologists, and even animal psychologists are still asking this question, there is no doubt that singing is one of humanity’s oldest activities. On Medúlla, Björk taps into the elemental power of the voice to say something about what it means to be human.

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BJÖRK

Bjork 3

I have this utopian view that the common person – like your gran, or the guy who works in the sandwich shop – actually wants an adventure, to hear something they’ve never heard before. I might seem leftfield, but I’m really not trying to be weird, you know.

Björk, Daily Telegraph, 2005

Born: 1965, Reykjavík, Iceland

Featured album: Medúlla (2004)

SO YOU WANT to be an art-pop genius? Well, it helps if you were born a child prodigy – just ask Captain Beefheart, Diamanda Galás and Nina Hagen. But with the exception of maybe Kate Bush, few gifted youngsters who’ve grown up to traverse music’s outer limits have attained the sort of mainstream recognition Björk has. Maybe that’s because she’s as earthly as she is otherworldly, as attuned to pop as she is to the avant-garde.

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